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Chain-maker triples in size to meet demand

The Wolverhampton-based chain-maker Donghua has moved to new premises more than three times the size of its previous site, to meet the growing demand for its products.

Siemens uses VR to optimise operations at UK VSD plant

Siemens is using a virtual reality (VR) installation at its Congleton variable-speed drives factory in Cheshire, UK, to simulate and optimise assembly processes, to design workcells, and for factory planning. It is even using VR for everyday tasks, such as organising office moves.

Gambica members want to keep access to the EU single market

A survey of members of the Gambica trade body has revealed that their top priority, following the UK’s vote to leave the European Union, is to retain access to the EU’s single market.

Magazine will be the UK’s first dedicated to smart manufacturing

DFA Media, the publisher of Drives & Controls, is launching the UK’s first magazine dedicated to the fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0), the Industrial Internet of Things, and the transformation to the era of “smart” manufacturing.

Idec Electronics changes its route to market in the UK

The Japanese automation manufacturer, Idec Electronics, has changed the way that it goes to market in the UK. Following a restructuring of its European business last year – which included closing its direct UK operation – Idec is now being represented by a new company, Sys-Tek, set up by Idec UK’s former MD, Stephen Schiller.

Brexit could hit the UK’s $30bn machinery market

The impact of the UK’s exit from the European Union on the country’s $30bn machinery production market will depend largely on whether it makes a “soft” or a “contentious” exit from the EU, according to a new analysis from IHS Markit.

UK automation sector shrinks by 4.9%, after five years of growth

The UK industrial automation sector shrank by 4.9% in 2015, ending five years of continuous growth, according to figures released by Gambica, the trade body that represents the UK’s control, automation and instrumentation industries. The process instrumentation and control sector suffered an even steeper decline of around 12% in 2015, largely due to the collapse in the price of oil which resulted in many projects being put on hold.

UK engineers unite to offer advice for Brexit negotiators

A group of 38 organisations representing the UK engineering sector have joined forces to offer advice to the Government to help secure the best possible outcome in the negotiations to withdraw the UK from the European Union. They have asked the Royal Academy of Engineering, as a convener of UK engineering with close links to the government, to lead the work.

UK manufacturing hit a five-month high before the Brexit vote

The UK manufacturing sector started to pick up in the first half of 2016 with the PMI (Purchasing Managers’ Index) reaching a five-month high in June, according to the latest figures from Markit and the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS). But the survey was conducted before the recent referendum in which the UK decided to leave the European Union.

Rawlings returns to Festo as general manager for the UK

Eliza Rawlings has been appointed general manager of Festo in the UK. The appointment marks a return to Festo for Rawlings who was the company’s national sales manager from 2002 to 2010, after which she was appointed managing director of the cloud services provider, Cloud Direct.

Just 8% of UK manufacturers understand I 4.0

Only 8% of UK manufacturers have a significant understanding of Industry 4.0, despite 59% recognising that it will have a big impact on the sector, according to a new report published by the accountancy and business advisory firm BDO in association with the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE).

New HQ doubles size of Plymouth automation firm

Applied Automation (UK) has officially opened its new headquarters in Plymouth, UK, which it moved into last year. The 13,000m2 (140,000ft2) site is more than twice the size of the two factories that it occupied before. The company now employs more than 130 people in Plymouth and at a second site in Cardiff, Wales.

UK manufacturers are not investing to tackle rise in cyber-attacks

Only about half of UK manufacturers have increased their spending on cyber-security in the past two years, despite Government figures showing that 90% of large businesses and 74% of small businesses reported a cyber-security breach last year – an increase on 2014. The average cost of these breaches was £1.46m–£3.14m for large firms, and £75,000–£311,000 for smaller businesses.

New digital factory exhibition will join Drives & Controls Show in 2018

A new exhibition dedicated to digital manufacturing will make its debut alongside the next Drives & Controls Show in 2018. The new event, called Smart Machines and Factories (SM&F), will reflect the changing face of manufacturing and the growing importance of concepts such as Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things.

2016 Drives & Controls Show was a record-breaker

Visitor numbers at the cluster of exhibitions, including the Drives & Controls Show, held last month at the NEC set a new record, with a total of 13,115 visitors attending the three-day event. The number who registered to attend the Drives Show was up nearly 30% on the figure for the previous show in 2014.